Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker Review
Sure, Cuisinart probably isn’t the first name you think of when you think of electric smokers. Yet when you really give it some more thought, I think you’ll find the principles that make them so successful with indoor cooking appliances translates perfecting into a broad lineup of outdoor cooking appliances like the high-quality CUISINART COS-330 electric smoker.
Measuring in at 30-inches high and only 59 pounds, it’s small enough to not take up a lot of space on your deck or patio. Not to mention light enough to take with you to a tailgating party or a camping trip. Yet when you open the door on the CUISINART COS-330, you will find three racks for a grand total of 548 square inches of total smoking space. The vertical space between each rack is also just enough to let you pack 3 Boston butt pork shoulders.
The electric element is rated to consume up to 1,500 watts, which is just within range of a 15 Amp electric circuit breaker, or a 20 Amp outdoor electric outlet, without the risk of overloading it. While it’s a minor thing, more than one high wattage rated electric smoker has faulted a circuit breaker and gone unnoticed.
The electric element is controlled by an analog knob, which might seem a little outdated to some people, though it helps keep the price tag much lower than if it had a digital control system. With a little experience, you will be able to dial the temperature in the cabinet down as low as 150-degrees or perhaps even a little lower, or as high as 400 degrees.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Cuisinart built its brand reputation with quality materials and smart engineering principles. You see this infused into the build quality of the CUISINART COS-330. The analog controls do feel a little bit like a cut corner, but ten years ago it was a standard feature of pretty much every electric cooking devices.
When it comes to assembly, there isn’t a lot that goes into putting together the CUISINART COS-330. You really just need to unbox it carefully and install everything in the right place, which shouldn’t take you more than half an hour. Then simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for breaking the electric smoker in.
The door on the CUISINART COS-330 has a spring lock handle which does a reasonable job of sealing in the heat and smoke. Though the seals are a little bit leaky. You might want to line them with a little heavy-duty aluminum foil if you want to maximize smoke density over the course of a long smoking session.
One of the true joys of the CUISINART COS-330 is the ability to smoke at low temperatures. While this is true of many electric smokers, this one can truly cold smoke. Though it does take a little trial and error to get it to consistently hang under 150-degrees.
Another understated thing about the CUISINART COS-330 is the spacing between the three racks. Some smokers in this class and price range give you four racks, which is all fine and good when you are smoking flat meats like salmon fillets, ribs or brisket. Though when you want to smoke something taller, like a Boston Butt pork shoulder, you can only really use two of the rack slots.
The three slot spacing of the CUISINART COS-330 makes it possible to smoke taller meats all at one time. This is a great way to feed a herd of people from a single smoker with a relatively small footprint.
The three racks of the CUISINART COS-330 give you 548 square inches of cooking space. This is more than enough to smoke meat for a dozen or so people.
Ease to Clean
You can tell that Cuisinart put a little extra time and energy into making the CUISINART COS-330 as easy to clean as possible. The lid for the wood chip tray spares drip down problems and the interior itself is relatively easy to clean. Though every now and then some drippings do manage to slip down past the edges of the water or dripping pan.
The biggest thing to be mindful of when cleaning the CUISINART COS-330 is to preserve the smooth finish of the stainless steel grates. Scrapes caused by the aggressive use of stainless steel and steel wool can cause surface textures that make it easier for meat to stick to the grates the next time. Ideally, you want to use a nylon grill brush of an abrasive sponge to clean off any stuck-on material.
Like the vast majority of their line, the CUISINART COS-330 comes with a standard 3-year warranty. This is about on-par with what you should expect at this price range, and even a step ahead of some of the competitors in this price range who only offer 1 year of warranty protection.
The CUISINART COS-330 is one of those convenient electric smokers that arguably isn’t loaded with a lot of special features. Still, it has a very friendly price tag, that won’t put a hurt on your bank account, while also having enough functionality to do pretty much anything you ask it to.
You can indeed cold smoke with it, while also being able to handle pretty much all hot smoking applications as well. The three removable rack heights are even perfectly spaced to help you maximize the 584 square inch internal capacity. Just be prepared for some minor smoke leaks at the door, and give yourself a little time to dial in the cold smoking temperatures.
- Three nicely spaced racks
- 1,500 Watt electric heating element
- Small footprint
- Good build quality
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
- Good value price tag
- The door seals are a little leaky
- Racks are prone to scratching
- No way to hang sausages
- Dripping pan doesn’t catch 100% of grease
- Analog temperature control dial
- Only a 30 inch power cord